Sunday, August 1, 2010

Top O' The Morning

I opened the back door at 0430 to check the cloud cover and wind. It was a nicely calm, warm but moist morning after yesterday’s rain. As bats hawked around the sycamores I could hear not far away two hungry Tawny Owls calling for breakfast.

We’d arranged to kick start the month with a ringing session at Out Rawcliffe, and out there on the raised moss, about 7 miles further inland from where I live, as we erected mist nets to the sound of a barking deer, the wind speed was zero.

On the way up the farm track Will saw a Grey Partridge with 4 half-grown chicks, just a day or two after I bemoaned the lack of Grey Partridge this year. At the same time I’d also mentioned the recent lack of “The Ringers Nemesis” the Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes or “Wrigglearse” as it is affectionately known; we both hoped that the mention of that species wouldn’t have a similar effect as talking of partridges with the result that Wrens filled the nets.

Maybe the rain of Saturday, that poured down all afternoon and evening until 9 or 10pm didn’t help our cause of targeting night flying migrant warblers in the early hours, but the August 1st arrival of new birds was subdued. In all we caught 25 birds, 22 new and 3 recaptures, whereby all the new birds of recent days and weeks had now departed.

New birds: 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Sedge Warbler, 3 Swallow, 1 Blue Tit, and 1 Wren. Other than a recapture in June, this is the only Wren caught in the plantation since the middle of October 2009.

Recaptures: 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Dunnock, 1 Song Thrush.

Song Thrush

Whitethroat - juvenile


In addition to the silky Sylvias, the juvenile Whitethroats above, we also caught a couple of amazingly bright yellow Willow Warblers. But Pride of Place, Top of the Heap today must go to the Wren.

Willow Warbler - juvenile

Willow Warbler - juvenile


Other birds seen this morning. 3 Buzzard, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 13 Swift flying west, 70+ Swallows south, 5 Stock Dove and 4 Reed Buntings with an overflying Nuthatch heading to the conifer wood and a probable second bird calling from the birch wood.


Lana Gramlich said...

How awesome. Where I live it's just too hot to get out these days. Thanks for sharing your outing with me!

Debs F Grant said...

Beautiful shots. That first one is a stunner.

Kimberley Wakelin said...

I love getting a closer look at these beautiful birds. Thanks for sharing them...and your story, here.

mick said...

Great photos of all the birds but the close-up of the song thrush with the bright eye is just beautiful.

Larry said...

Great bird day Phil. I love the Willow Warbler and that Wren is exquisite!

Larry said...

Oh yeah, the Song Thrush, gorgeous!

gwen said...

Great way to start the day :-) Love the photos. I've never held a bird.

Halcyon said...

They are all so sweet. And posing so nicely for you. :)

Anonymous said...

The posing of the wren is just very cool!

BirdingMaine said...

Excellent photo series Phil! love the Wren!

Ari said...

As usual your excellent photography and narration is such a joy to see and read.

Anonymous said...

Quite a striking Willow Warbler, though of course I'm partial to the Wren.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

I read about those ChiffChaffs in Tim Dee's book. Good to see one.

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